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Six Flags Great Adventure (SFGAdv) Discussion Thread


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Last year I rode Ka in about 38 degrees, it was awesome. Back in 2017, same weekend, was really icy earlier that week and even Nitro was afternoon before it was running. As was Ka, I heard about blowtorches being involved but they got it going eventually too. However, unlike previous years Toro was not running last year for the final weekend. They had bands and an event. I'm hoping the train maintenance earlier this year and not seeing any events is a good sign but will be watching and deciding. Sunday would be my day; they're open Thurs-Mon !

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Because of a work trip I should have the opportunity to get to the park for the first time on 11/17. Hopefully most things are open, I'm hoping to get a few laps on El Toro if weather cooperates.

 

For locals/those who make it to the park often, other than El Toro what would you recommend I make sure I get to if my time is limited there? How are Sundays in November? Are rides actually open or will this just be a waste of my time?

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November 16th is the start of Holiday in the Park. Golden Kingdom, Frontier Adventures and Plaza del Carnaval are closed for the event. The map is not out yet but generally all non-water rides operate for the event EXCEPT for El Toro, Kingda Ka, Runaway Mine Train, Bizzaro, Safari off Road Adventure and the terrifying Tango.

 

That said, Holiday in the Park is my personal favorite time of year at Great Adventure and we go there more then than the rest of the year combined. They do an incredible job with the event but if you're just here for El Toro then your last day to ride it is November 11th.

 

Looking to head to the park this weekend but its going to be cold. What rides don't operate in the cold, im guessing Ka?

 

Everything will run, they don't care. I also don't know what forecast everyone is looking at, it won't be that cold this weekend.

Edited by coasterbill
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November 16th is the start of Holiday in the Park. Golden Kingdom, Frontier Adventures and Plaza del Carnaval are closed for the event. The map is not out yet but generally all non-water rides operate for the event EXCEPT for El Toro, Kingda Ka, Runaway Mine Train, Bizzaro, Safari off Road Adventure and the terrifying Tango.

 

That said, Holiday in the Park is my personal favorite time of year at Great Adventure and we go there more then than the rest of the year combined. They do an incredible job with the event but if you're just here for El Toro then your last day to ride it is November 11th.

 

Looking to head to the park this weekend but its going to be cold. What rides don't operate in the cold, im guessing Ka?

 

Everything will run, they don't care. I also don't know what forecast everyone is looking at, it won't be that cold this weekend.

Bummer for El Toro being closed for the event, but I'll be happy to see Holiday in the Park. Thanks for the heads up.

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November 16th is the start of Holiday in the Park. Golden Kingdom, Frontier Adventures and Plaza del Carnaval are closed for the event. The map is not out yet but generally all non-water rides operate for the event EXCEPT for El Toro, Kingda Ka, Runaway Mine Train, Bizzaro, Safari off Road Adventure and the terrifying Tango.

I'm just speculating on this at this point with absolutely nothing concrete to go off of, but if the Christmas lights are up in Bugs Bunny National Park (hinting that that kiddie area will be open this year), I'm hoping that they expand it just a few steps further, open up the Runaway Mine Train, and open both stations on the Skyway so that it's a one-way journey instead of round-trip. Considering how popular it's gotten every year (I swear it has the longest lines out of any attraction open during HITP), that might help capacity somewhat.

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of course they do, sky buckets are a great thing

Even with two of the star attractions being closed for Holiday in the Park, I'm happy that I'll be able to make it there, I haven't ever been to a Christmas event at any park, so if nothing else I'll enjoy the rides and can do and I'm sure I'll love seeing the lights.

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of course they do, sky buckets are a great thing

Even with two of the star attractions being closed for Holiday in the Park, I'm happy that I'll be able to make it there, I haven't ever been to a Christmas event at any park, so if nothing else I'll enjoy the rides and can do and I'm sure I'll love seeing the lights.

 

I havent been to holiday in the park in NJ, but at Magic Mountain they really do an incredible job with the decorations. Well worth the visit. Makes it a completely different experience.

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Quick trip report time...

 

A few months ago Boldy mentioned that Hershey was open the first week of November (the week after a lot of regional parks had closed up shop) and that we should head over there for one last theme park weekend before Great Adventure was the only (worthwhile) game in town until January. He invited a few friends, everyone seemed to be on board with the idea and we pretty much had it penciled in.

 

Fast forward to last week and we decided to maybe revisit that plan. The forecast called for temperatures in the high 40's and Hershey had been randomly closing Fahrenheit and Great Bear for painting over the last few weeks and between their habit of painting rides during park hours and having the most ridiculous temperature guidelines of any park in the northeast we eventually decided to pull the plug on that plan and go to a park that was 100% guaranteed not to give a sh*t. Brit had been battling a cold and decided to bail on this one, but everyone else was still in so Sunday morning I made my way down to meet everyone and thanks to the 11:00 opening and daylight savings I was almost, kind-of, sort-of there at park opening-ish for once.

 

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Good morning! Poop is the only one in the Halloween Fright Fest spirit. LOL

Despite the fact that it's my home park, this was somehow my first visit since opening weekend (aside from a quick 2 hour pit stop on Labor Day weekend) and none of us had experienced the new hotness yet so after meeting up at the fountain we instinctively made our way over to Wonder Woman where we were greeted with a complete walk-on.

 

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This thing is massive.

I'm still not really used to seeing it over there and it's always fun to see that massive swinging disk come flying up from over the trees. This ride is HUGE.

 

PS: Remember when this was announced and people were bitching? Those people are stupid. This ride is amazing. I can't wait to ride the crap out of this during Holiday in the Park (The operator booths and queue are covered with Christmas lights so if there was ever any doubt that it would be running you can put those concerns to rest).

 

Batman was still testing so we hit Nitro next followed by Skull Mountain which randomly had it's waterfall running. There's not much to report on either front, both rides still kick ass. Lines were still pretty short so we decided to keep the mojo going and hopped on the Skyway to hit the rides across the park.

 

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This is the first of many photos that I'll be stealing from Boldy's Instagram today.

We had planned to hit up the bar but Boldy is on this weird Bizarro kick lately (or bizarro Bizarro kick I guess you could say) so we figured rather than deprive him we'd head over and take a front row ride. I'll admit, this ride is definitely growing on me lately. It's always been a lot of fun but it really does seem like every time I've been on it lately it's been totally hauling ass.

 

Once Boldy got that out of his system we made our way over to Plaza Del Carnival for some brews and some lunch. I wanted to grab some cool local beer on draft but someone in front of us returned a beer noting that (despite what the tap handle said) he ended up with an apple beer instead and that was an atrocity that I just didn't want to be subjected to to ruin an otherwise lovely afternoon so I went with a Blue Moon in a cold can instead. I think the rest of the group ordered apple beer deliberately because they're psychopaths.

 

It's a well known fact that Six Flags is only capable of making chicken tenders and nothing else so we grabbed some food from Totally Kickin' Chicken where I was honestly blown away by how good the sauce was. I think I walked around the park all day being legitimately impressed with Six Flags' culinary prowess until that night when I mentioned to one of our friends (who also happens to be a bit of a Six Flags food guru) that it was so good I'd legitimately go and buy it at the grocery store and he responded (paraphrasing and much nicer than this) "Yeah, I bet you would because it's some Sweet Baby Ray's Asian thing that Six Flags had nothing to do with that you CAN buy at the grocery store, dipsh*t".

 

Oh well.

 

After enjoying the food that I gave Six Flags way too much credit for we hit the bull in the back car where it proceeded to be as awesome as ever. It's never been "rough" but I actually feel like it's running smoother this year than it has in years past. They take great care of this thing and it's so awesome to have it in our home park.

 

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So good... I stole this photo from Boldy too.

Golden Kingdom was next which is always fun when you're with some people that are still slightly apprehensive about rocketing up and down 450 foot steel towers (you know... "normal humans"). We planned on hitting Kingda Ka first but it was down per usual and we ended up settling for Zumanjaro. As always it was a complete walk-on and as always it was pants-sh*ttingly-fun. It also gave Kingda Ka enough time to finish it's little temper tantrum so by the time we got off we could throw our crap in a locker and head right into the station.

 

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You guessed it... stolen

I feel like I spend a good portion of my time at Great Adventure dragging unwilling people onto Kingda Ka. Sometimes they're terrified, sometimes they're enthusiasts who would rather ride El Toro but either way it always end up happening. I get it... it's a long line for a short ride and the fact that something this insane even exists is... well... insane but I can't get enough of it.

 

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This is my guilty pleasure ride. I could ride it all day.

Our front seat ride was (as usual) completely mind-blowing and (as Poop put it) ruined all of our hard work at the Macho Nacho bar by sobering everyone up in a matter of 18 seconds. This is true but whatever... I'm drunk on Kingda Ka anyway.

 

It was getting late in the day and everyone was about ready to head out, but we decided to make our way over to Movietown again and get a ride on Batman since it was throwing a fit earlier in the day. Sadly this was not to be as the line was filling the indoor queue area and we knew we'd be back in 2 weeks anyway when it would probably be a walk-on so we settled for Nitro instead (after hitting the bar of course).

 

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Cheers

Wanting to end the day with a bang, everyone decided to switch it up a bit and wait for the front of Nitro. We normally stick to the back but the crew was absolutely killing it (seriously, great job guys) despite having two people checking 36 seats so our wait for the front row was minimal.

 

Our frozen front seat Nitro ride was absolutely fantastic. The sky going up the lift was insane and the ride itself was awesome. It's definitely ready for Holiday in the Park as it was already braving the cold like a champion.

 

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We love Nitro!

Since I was flying solo I debated heading out with the rest of the group, but there were a few things pulling me back to the park. First of all, paying $30 for crappy food on the Turnpike made no sense when I could eat $0 equally crappy food at Six Flags with a dining pass. Second of all, thanks to a few nice people we somehow ended up with free maze passes and third of all El Toro exists. I didn't plan on staying too long but factoring all of that in my mind was sort of made up...

 

IMG_7030.thumb.jpg.1974e0e3d883e7481f7c445332ed5492.jpgIf I were to make a list of all the things in my life that I now own that I never thought I would be caught dead with this would be right up there next to "a cat" at the top of that list.

 

I didn't plan to stay long but I figured I might as well make the rounds to the major coasters that were about to close for the season and ride them one last time so I started making my way over to Bizzarro, stopping at any mazes I passed on the way. Almost right away I noticed that there was some weird clown house in one of the old gift shops on the boardwalk that was a complete walk-on so I walked over to the employee checking maze passes, raised my pass and lowered my expectations and made my way in.

 

I'm sure by now most people know that I've been really critical of Six Flags haunt events but this house was actually not terrible. They hand you floppy paper 3d glasses like the ones you used to get in those Kid Cuisine TV dinners that I had to hold on my face the entire time so they didn't fall off and that was comical but the inside of the house did look cool and there were an okay number of scare actors. Don't get me wrong, it was the worst haunt attraction I had experienced all year but it was better than I expected. If this house were at Dorney it would be their worst house but it wouldn't be offensively bad. That said, if I actually paid for it and/or waited for it I would have likely felt differently.

 

Up next was "Wicked Woods" which was also a walk-on and located under the log flume. This house was amazing, not as a house but as a case study in how little effort you could put into a haunt event and still draw record crowds just because it's a theme park haunt event.

 

It's entirely plausible that aside from flood lights and fog machines the budget for this house was $0. Everything was constructed out of wood pallets that they probably got with their delivery of giant stuffed bullsh*t for the boardwalk games earlier in the season that they were storing for a rainy day in the back. There were a few other scrap wood sets but I really feel like they pieced this thing together from a bunch of crap that they found in the boneyard. Still, it had more scare actors than expected and one of them actually got me to jump so props to them. They did the best that they could with what little they had to work with.

 

Had Brit been there I could have done these houses all night. They weren't good but they were definitely still fun considering they didn't have lines and they were free. Strangely the coasters actually had longer lines than the houses all night so I guess maybe people are catching on.

 

Bizzarro was a walk-on so I hit that next and actually had another great ride on it. I may be slowly coming to the dark side on this. I don't know why but it's been running great lately. I had debated heading out after that since I was solo and El Toro's phone policy exists but as I walked by I saw that the line was pretty short and knew that there was absolutely no way I'd be able to resist.

 

When I approached the entrance I saw that the ride was closed and with the temperatures plummeting into the mid 30's I did have a brief moment of concern that it was done for the night but the greeter quickly explained to everyone that it was just down mechanical and within a few minutes it was sending a test train so I threw my crap in a locker and got in line.

 

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Last bull ride of the year!

This ride is a masterpiece and was hauling through the course despite the cold. The first few hills were doing their best to throw you half way across the park and it lost no momentum whatsoever over the Rolling Thunder hill and through the Twister section. That was an absolutely kick ass way to end the "regular season" at Great Adventure. The world does not deserve this ride.

 

It was totally frigid at this point and getting late so I collected everything out of the locker and made my way up towards the front after an awesome day. That freezing bull ride was great but it was 33 degrees and everything had hit it's temperature limit. Too bad. So Sad.

 

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Oh sh*t... all these fog machines had me disoriented and I made a wrong turn on the way out. Damn.

I'm just f*cking with you obviously.

 

There was absolutely no way that I was going to turn down a 33 degree ride into the stratosphere on my favorite Swiss rocket ship, nor was there a way that Great Adventure was going to start caring about how cold it was so I donated another $1 to the Six Flags super loop fund and got in line. The wait was only about 20 minutes or so but there was a really fun vibe in the station. Everyone in there crazy by default and we all knew it but "crazy" is fun and Kingda Ka is amazing so whatever. Guilty as charged.

 

It was hard not to question my sanity as we rolled out of the station in the front seat of the world's tallest coaster on such a freezing cold night but there wasn't really much time to think it over as we immediately rolled back, paused for a split second that felt like an eternity and then took off like a fighter jet into the night.

 

I still don't think I've thawed out from that ride but holy living f*ck was it ever worth it. I'm a bad enthusiast but I can't think of a better way to end the regular season at Great Adventure than that. I love El Toro, and El Toro is objectively a "better" ride but Kingda Ka blows me away every single time I ride it and that was easily the most insane ride that I've ever had on it. Thanks Great Adventure for being awesome.

 

I guess what I'm trying to say is

Looking to head to the park this weekend but its going to be cold. What rides don't operate in the cold, im guessing Ka?

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... guess again.

Edited by coasterbill
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Sounds like a good time! Six Flags for the win, cold temperatures bedamned. Still amazes me that Six Flags continues to give 0 shits about temperatures or manufacturer errr guidelines?

 

Hoping to get back to HITP since Wonderland's event doesn't look like any fun. I cancelled my membership and it expired Oct 30th, but supposedly I still get 3 months free even though there is literally no mention of this anywhere (I think that's the point lol) so hopefully I can make use of that.

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Nice report Bill. I apparently missed you guys by just a day as I was there on Saturday with the family, it was also only our second visit of the season. My daughter hit her 44" height requirement so she's now the newest inductee into the Cult of Skull Mountain.

 

She's only 4 but she's been hardcore into Halloween and spooky stuff since the end of August, so we promised her one more weekend of "bonus Halloween". We bit the bullet and tried out the mazes. Yeah, they were pretty much uniformly terrible, some more so than others. I think the only one we actually really enjoyed was Reflections of the Dead, but that's mainly because we enjoy the mirror mazes. That being said, this was still only the second worst haunt we did all season. Kudos to Bayville Scream Park in Long Island for being the suckiest of the sucks. Favorites were probably a tie between Dorney and the Elysburg Haunted House out near Knoebels (we didn't end up making it out to Kings Island this year, unfortunately).

 

Now that that's over and done with... bring on the hot chocolate! Let's get our Holiday in the Park on!

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Next time I go will be Autism Day 2020. Jersey Devil won't have opened yet, but I'm not planning to go on it because I can't do anything with steep drops (I haven't done Nitro yet even if my friend has went on it.)

 

RIP my love of Cyborg: Cyber Spin. Killed by freaking hangtime.

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